Daytona Beach, FL—Paul Scotland scored a game-high 16 points to lead four players in double figures as Bethune Cookman defeated Howard 64-50 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's game at Moore Gymnasium.
The Wildcats (10-16, 5-6 in the MEAC) jumped out to the early lead with Scotland hitting from three-point range, scoring 13 of his points on three of four from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes. It enabled Bethune Cookman to lead 33-21 at the half. Scotland got support from his hot-shooting teammates as they combined on 6 of 11 from beyond the arc.
It could have been a closer game had the Bison (6-21, 3-10 in the MEAC) made their free throws. Howard continued its woes from the charity stripe, missing nine of 16 in the first 20 minutes, carrying over from Saturday's loss at Florida A&M, where they missed nine of 16 in the second half in a one-point loss.
"They made their shots and they fouled us," said Howard Coach Kevin Nickelberry. "They set the tone early when they came out with a lot of energy and a physical style of play. We have problems with teams that are athletic and physical. Other than Mike (Phillips) and Alfonso (Leary), we did not match their physicality.
The Bison did make a run and cut the deficit to seven twice in the second half, but each time the Wildcats turned to Javoris Bryant, Adrien Coleman or Malik Jackson, who combined for 23 of their team's 31 second half points.
Mike Phillips scored eight of his team-high 14 in the second half and Tre Lee added all of his seven, but it was not enough to offset the three-point shooting barrage by the Wildcats, who connected on 45 percent from the three-point line.
In addition to Scotland's 16, Coleman, Jackson and Bryant each contributed 12 points.
Phillips just missed a double double with 12 points and nine rebounds as did Alfonso Leary with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Bethune Cookman held the advantage in the paint, 20-12, points off turnovers, 18-7 and its bench with a 24-12 edge.
"I was worried about this game because Bethune Cookman is not the type of team that we are good at facing when we come off a tough loss," offered Nickelberry. "They play nine players on a regular basis and when you are a team like us with a short bench, it hurts us in matching up."
NEXT UP: Howard returns home for a contest against Coppin State on Saturday at 4 pm while the Wildcats host South Carolina State on Saturday.